FARC commander “Ivan Vargas” gets 20 years in US prison

Colombian guerilla leader Jorge Enrique Rodríguez Mendieta AKA “Ivan Vargas” was sentenced to 20 years in prison by a District Court in New York March 19 for conspiring to import cocaine into the US. Mendieta, who was extradited in 2007, pleaded guilty in December to the charges, admitting that he was commander of the FARC‘s 24th Front from 1998 to 2004.

“Jorge Enrique Rodriguez Mendieta for years occupied one of the FARC’s top leadership roles, overseeing the manufacture and distribution of thousands of kilograms of cocaine and participating in the policy-making of the FARC,” US Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement after the sentencing. “Bringing the leadership of the FARC to justice is critical to our fight against narco-terrorism that threatens the safety and security of the United States. This Office will continue to work with its local, state, federal, and international partners to combat criminal organizations that undermine the rule of law.” (RTTNews, March 19)

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